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June 17, 2014

Meadville native lands job with Minor League squad

MEADVILLE — “It’s fun. It’s hectic. It’s a little bit of everything.”

That’s the new operations manager for the Auburn (N.Y.) Doubledays talking. That also happens to be Meadville native Kenny Lindberg.

“What I tell people, though, is that I get to work at a baseball stadium,” Lindberg added, “and that’s the coolest thing ever.”

The Auburn Doubledays are the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Washington Nationals baseball team. They play in the New York-Penn League, along with the likes of the Jamestown (N.Y.) Jammers and the Mahoning Valley (Ohio) Scrappers.

Lindberg took on the role of Doubledays’ operations manager in early March, just three short months before the team’s season began on June 13.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” he said. “But it’s been a fun whirlwind.”

Lindberg is a 2007 graduate of Meadville Area Senior High School and went on to graduate with a degree in sports management from Medaille College in Buffalo.

His new job follows stints as front office associate for the aforementioned Jammers, as well as a sales associate for the Erie Otters minor league hockey team.

So, what does an operations manager for a Single-A ballclub do?

“It really kind of takes care of anything and everything,” he said. “From managing gameday staff to making sure the signs on the outfield wall and the concourses look good. It’s troubleshooting a lot of things that happen at the ballpark.”

Lindberg admits that he’s still in the learning process.

“Yeah, but I think the day you don’t have anything to learn maybe you should get out of it and go do something else,” he said. “Every day is learning experience. It’s only my third job out of college. And at this point I’m only 25 years old, so I’ve still got a lot to learn.”

Yet, even while he continues to learn the ins and outs of the front office, Lindberg says he still gets to enjoy some of the job’s perks, like watching the future of baseball develop right before his eyes.

“We get some of the better Nationals’ prospects here,” said Lindberg. “In fact, right now we have (outfielder) Drew Vettleson, who is rehabbing from Harrisburg (the Senators, Washington’s Double-A affiliate); and a pitcher that just got promoted from Florida (the Gulf Coast League), Jefry Rodriguez. Both are top 10 Nationals’ prospects that we get to have run out in front of our fans.”

Lindberg had a similar experience while working with the Jamestown Jammers last year, watching some of the top Pirates’ prospects, like catcher Reese McGuire and outfielder Candon Myles, play with the team before moving on up the organizational ladder.

As for his own hopes of moving up the ladder in baseball, that’s not where Lindberg is focused right now.

Instead, he says, “We’ll just keep leaning, keep putting on a good show and make sure that the Nationals organization stays happy with us.”

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